We don’t see things as they are, we see things as WE are.
It’s that time of year again…when the days become shorter and darker, and it becomes that much easier to slip into a lower mood or funk…or to maybe let slide a remark you know you’d never had said on a warm sunny day when the birds were chirping. When one irritability creeps in, it can open up a door to allow even more to invade…and little negative thoughts or criticisms can sometimes drift in quickly or linger longer than we’d like…and before we know it, we’ve taken the dark clouds from outside and brought them in over our heads, unwittingly compromising our own happiness in the process.
But life is too short and time too precious to waste on even a moment of self-limiting thoughts or behaviours, which can viciously start to feed themselves. No matter what the circumstance, no matter what someone says or does, there is only one factor determining our happiness and that is us. Moment to moment we decide how we are going to perceive something. Day to day, little criticisms routinely make their way into our lives. But not anymore! Enter SNAPOUTOFIT!
WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF SNAPOUTOFIT?
The purpose of SNAPOUTOFIT is to utilise the power of numbers in achieving happier and healthier lives…together. The more encouragement we gain from others, the more challenges shared and hurdles overcome, the more motivated and supported we feel in gradually making difficult but gradual changes on a positive transformative journey…..a journey that is rift with frustrations, challenges, and frequent failures…but we will continue to keep supporting and pushing each other forward…each day becoming easier and easier…as each day becomes brighter and brighter (regardless of sunshine!)…creating the lives we wish to live, and the people we wish to be. But wishes, hopes and dreams will only ever be that until there is deliberate action taken to achieve them.
HOW IS SNAPOUTOFIT GOING TO MAKE US HAPPIER, HEALTHIER PEOPLE?
We’ll be happier and healthier by becoming mindful and gradually transforming negative thoughts and behaviours that are compromising our physical, mental and emotional health, into positive outcomes….outcomes that will become our new habits over time.
WHY IS SNAPOUTOFIT 30 DAYS?
It won’t be easy, but nothing worth having comes easy! Many of us know that it takes at least 30 days to really implant a new habit, so why sell ourselves short with anything less? Initially we will be fueled by the continued support of the group, but over time as habits form, we will become much more self-sufficient, fed by the positive energy, mindset and outcomes we’re creating. Not only will every level of health improve, but the positivity will create a ripple effect, impacting the lives of everyone around us.
HOW DO WE SNAPOUTOFIT?
By following the guidelines, staying committed to the betterment of ourselves (and others), and wearing an elastic band around your wrist.
The elastic is necessary because it serves as both a visual cue and a physical reminder of the impact our thoughts and behaviours can have on both ourselves and others. We know through research that our thoughts quite literally change our cellular health, including our immune system…so as a reminder of this “self-injury” created with negative thoughts/actions, every time we catch ourselves behaving in a way that is not aligned with the goal, we snap the elastic to SNAPOUTOFIT. And it’s suppose to sting! If it’s a larger faux pas, take the deliberate action to move the elastic to the opposite wrist. These are the cues we’re using to help mindfully reframe the circumstance in a positive manner.
WHAT ARE THE RULES?
Accept life as it is, and choose to create positive perceptions and interactions with the world:
No complaining – not about ourselves, about others, about the weather, the slow driver in front of us, the long line up, the broken windshield wiper, the music that’s playing, the food that was served cold, the bad hair day, etc
No negative thoughts – no ruminating over negative events, thoughts or emotions
No negative judgments or labeling of others – work to understand and accept others as they are. We are all imperfect.
No criticizing (ourselves included)
No swearing or harsh language (negative words create distressing energy, impacting both yourself and others)
No negative tone
At the end of each day, take 5 minutes to write down all the positives, the successes, the things that make you happy...the things you are grateful for. Only 5 minutes.
A negative state of mind isn’t the result of a single thought or emotion, it is the accumulation of triggers that distort reality. Become mindful of the triggers that set off a negative pattern, in addition to the environments that make you more susceptible to those triggers. Rejoice in all that is positive!
HOW DO I DO THIS??
It’s going to be difficult, sure…but each misstep is an opportunity for growth!
At the moment of awareness of a negative trigger, take immediate action. Disarm the negative triggers by countering with an equally positive powerful truth.
For example, if you think “I hate my body, I’m so unattractive”, you can counteract this thought by thinking “My partner loves me and I love my __(eyes, arms, etc)___” or “I’m giving my body the love it deserves by starting a wellness plan. I love my ____.”
Refrain from saying anything if the only things that will come out are harsh words or criticisms. As they say: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all! Then work on the internal dialogue.
If a problem arises, directly address the matter in a mature, polite manner and work to resolve it. That is not complaining, that is responsible conflict resolution with positive intention.
For example, if you were served a soup with a hair in it, instead of complaining to the person beside you about how you can’t believe they served you something like that, instead simply address the matter politely and directly with a server and turn the conversation to more positive things.
Do not fester with negative thoughts that are spawned out of assumptions. Where possible, seek clarification and truth. If it’s not possible, let it go.
Worrying about something that may not be true, is like paying interest on money not yet borrowed.
If someone does you wrong, either deliberately or unintentionally, practice forgiveness and move forward. Forgiveness does not mean acceptance…it means releasing all the negative baggage so that it no longer limits happiness.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.
Consider why you might be saying or thinking what you are
Try using the power of visual imagery to effect change. Every time a negative thought or behaviour occurs, visualize or imagine a very large, red stop sign with a brightly painted “STOP” come up in front of you while you snap the elastic around your wrist.
Consider others and how your interactions with them may be compromising their wellbeing
Do not become drawn into someone else’s negative vortex
For example, many conversations revolve around complaints of weather, temperature, bad news, etc. Instead of joining them in the negative dialogue, mindfully shift it to something positive.
Always look for the silver lining.
Reframe half-empty cups to half-full cups
See challenges as opportunities. Each hurdle is an opportunity to practice positivity – be it patience, understanding, compassion, groundedness, forgiveness, calmness, communication, etc. There is always an opportunity for growth.
When all else fails – be still and breathe slowly. There may be moments that get the better of you…even if you are not at that moment capable of reframing the negativity, give yourself the space and time to come to that place when you are more grounded. Step away from the situation and breathe.
Cleanse your personal environment of things, circumstances and/or people that are toxic or limiting your positive personal development.
The purpose of this challenge isn’t to expect perfection…it’s to expect personal improvement. The only person who fails is the one who fails to try. It’s that simple. Negative elements will always exist in life; without them, we wouldn’t know what positive is. The trick is to focus on the positive, filling ourselves up with it as much as possible, leaving limited space for negativity.
If you change the way you look at the things, the things you look at change.
Many benefits will reveal themselves over the days of practice, and one of the greatest will be that of improved mindfulness. By consciously taking time to check-in with ourselves, we will develop powerful habits of being mindfully present in the moment. And only in the present moment does happiness exist. When mindfully present, we become more aware of ourselves, our bodies, our environments, our interactions…along with all the seemingly little things that once passed unnoticed, but now bring about greater appreciation, gratitude and happiness.
So let’s get started and SNAPOUTOFIT together!